Senator James Sanders Jr. (D-Queens) wants to stamp out sickle cell disease and calls on residents to join him in recognizing World Sickle Cell Awareness Day, June 19.
"Sickle cell disease is not a curse or death sentence, but a manageable disease that for those living with it, have the support of the community and above all, hope that one day there will be a cure," said Senator Sanders.
Sickle cell disease, an inherited group of disorders, red blood cells contort into a sickle shape. The cells die early, leaving a shortage of healthy red blood cells (sickle cell anemia), and can block blood flow causing pain (sickle cell crisis). Infections, pain, and fatigue are symptoms of sickle cell disease. Treatments include medications, blood transfusion and rarely a bone-marrow transplant.
In the US it is estimated that:
- SCD affects approximately 100,000 Americans.
- SCD occurs in 1 out of 365 African-American births.
- SCD occurs in 1 out of 16,300 Hispanic-American births.
- About 1 in 13 African-American babies is born with sickle cell trait (SCT).
Sanders introduced legislation – The Sickle Cell Treatment of Act of 2017 (S-4054A), which would provide preventive medicine to those with sickle cell, and establish prevention and treatment programs.
The Senator’s bill would also encourage and support testing to determine carriers of the sickle cell trait to stop the spread of the disease. Additionally, the bill would provide the Department of Health with $1 million to carry out the demonstration program.
“Whether you are personally afflicted with sickle cell disease, a caretaker, loved one, or friend to someone who is, there's no doubt that it takes a lot of strength and patients to get through the tough times caused by the illness,” Sanders said. “I support all those who are fighting for a cure as well as those who provide support and services to sufferers.”
For more information on this illness, please visit www.sicklecelldisease.org or feel free to contact Senator Sanders's Office at 718-523-3069. Brochures are available to provide resources and locations for help.